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26.03.2015 20:21 Society, Belarus — EU

Belarus suggests amendments to draft mobility partnership deal with EU

By Vyachaslaw Budkevich, BelaPAN
Minsk, 26 March. The Belarusian government has suggested a number of amendments to a draft declaration that would establish a Partnership for Mobility between Belarus and the European Union.
Belarusian government officials and representatives of the European Commission and the Latvian Presidency of the European Union discussed the draft declaration during a round of consultations in Minsk on Thursday.
The deal encompasses areas such as migration, mobility, fight against illegal migration and human trafficking, readmission, travel document reliability, border management, and asylum.
Alyaksey Byahun, head of the interior ministry`s Citizenship and Migration Department, expressed satisfaction with the talks, describing them as “constructive.” In an effort to defend national interests, the Belarusian delegation suggested a number of provisions to complement the declaration, Mr. Byahun said, expressing hope that Belarus’ proposals would be supported by the EU and the declaration would be ready for signing by the end of the year.
Although Belarus has repeatedly cooperated with the European Union at the level of interior ministries and migration authorities, Belarus and the EU do not have an “all-encompassing document” governing the migration sphere, Mr. Byahun said. If the draft declaration is signed, it will become a “kind of instrument of good neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation,” he said.
A number of international technical assistance projects would be carried out in pursuance of the declaration, Mr. Byahun said. International organizations operating in Belarus would provide support for some of those projects, he said.
In addition, the implementation of the declaration would build the potential of law-enforcement agencies and NGOs that deal with migration issues, Mr. Byahun said.




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